Monday, August 4, 2014

A Weekend at 507

Last year Ornery and I purchased our first (of hopefully many) rental properties.  We took three LONG months working it over so it would be fit for habitation. Our first set of renters recently vacated, and we are back over there working on various little chores that needed to be done. Mostly we are wearing ourselves out! It's hot, and of course everything that needs to be done is outside. We can't seem to get our carcasses in gear and over there before 10:00 AM, and it has been up in the 90's all week.

Ornery has been yammering on about wanting to trim some dead branches, and one rather hefty live one from the massive oak trees in the back yard.  The first couple were easy, as he just climbed on the roof, and they were at waist level, easy to cut with his trusty electric chain saw, and off we went to the next ones. Which were NOT so easy. Somewhere along the way, the electric chain saw decided it was too good to be cutting such awful looking stuff, and quit. Without giving notice! We tried a brand new electric chainsaw, and for some reason, it wouldn't work either.  So, we returned that one and bought a gas powered dude with enough guts and not too much pride to do the job right.

Ornery climbed up the extended extension ladder and cut off the first section without incident.  It was the second section that caused him grief, when the weight of the part he cut off was no longer weighing down the branch he was leaning on, the branch lifted and left the top of the ladder without support.  Down the ladder went, and fortunately Ornery grabbed a branch from a different tree and rode it down to the ground where he landed on both feet, no broken or sprained bones, and chainsaw still in his hand. The tree didn't fare so well, as the branch split off on the downward pull. Oh, well, we'll just trim that branch when we are done.

Next was the last section of that huge branch, and I told Ornery I would sure feel better if he would strap the ladder to the tree, just in case... So, he did, and proceeded to cut the last section of that branch until it fell. It was still partially attached to the tree, but he figured he could go back and take care of that later.  Oh, by the way, that big branch landed on the rescue tree and obliterated one entire side leaving a rather homely, lopsided beast.  So, now the job increased in scope to the removal of that entire tree, but at least there were no injuries.

After he removed a few smaller twigs the movement and the weight finally tore the last of the branch from the trunk where it somehow managed to roll around to the back of the tree where the ladder was.  Had Ornery been on it, the force likely would have thrown him off.  He owes his guardian angels some big tips and has forthwith been banned from such exercises. We are too old for that kind of excitement!

The neighbor next door was delighted to clean up most of the fallen branches to take to his house for firewood, and he even bundled up most of the smaller branches and put them out for the trash men. In so many ways I wish he was our neighbor here at Zoe Cottage. What a nice guy.

Next, Ornery worked on the fence, replacing a broken post at the corner of the yard. We had to meet with the stump grinder at 2:00 and a new leasing management representative at the same time.  Both went well, the huge stump from last year's tree removal in the front is now shreds and dirt, spread neatly out over the front lawn. Elizabeth had dug out the last of the iris on Sunday, so the area was clear of all except some daylilies which I didn't mind losing. The yard mowing will be much easier now with the removal of the stump, and we shouldn't have so many saplings to contend with, either.

The stump grinder was a remote control beast, and way fun to watch. The owner/operator stood off to the side and drove it from the ground. It was great entertainment! :)

Ornery is off all this week, and we have a few more chores at 507 before we can enjoy some time just relaxing. Which we will definitely need after all the manual labor of the week!

(If you are interested in our journey as beginning landlords, what we did to the house, etc., you can follow this link and search for 507 to see posts I wrote last year. I am still in awe at what we accomplished.)

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